Today’s Editorial December 05: Constitution information needed quickly

So now it’s official.

We will go to the polls in May to vote on Cayman’s new constitution.

It’s news most of us who care about the country have been waiting on.

We’ve known that there would be a referendum on the matter next year because we’ve been told so.

Frankly we were hoping that the referendum would have been held later rather than sooner.

Slating the referendum in May means we will only have about four months of public consultation.

And while we know that we will have a referendum, we still don’t know exactly what we’ll be voting on.

We’re told that information will be coming out in a matter of weeks. We hope that is sooner rather than later.

Will we be voting on a laundry list of issues put forth by the Government or simply check a yes or no box?

Typically a referendum is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to either accept or reject a particular proposal. This may be the adoption of a new constitution, a constitutional amendment, a law, the recall of an elected official or simply a specific government policy. The referendum or plebiscite is a form of direct democracy.

And this referendum will be the first for the Cayman Islands.

Typically we go to the polls every four years to elect our leaders.

A referendum is not allowed under our current constitution, so the vote we take in May won’t necessarily be binding on the populace.

But it will give Government a consensus of how we all believe our constitution should be crafted so they can take that information to the UK.

That’s why it is important for those who are eligible to vote to go ahead and register with the elections office.

And educate yourself about what Government is proposing, if and when that plan is made available.

We would like to see that proposal as soon as possible.

If Government truly wants to let the UK know the sentiments and consensus of the electorate of the Cayman Islands, it must get the information on the constitution to us quickly.

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